tv [untitled] November 25, 2010 1:00pm-1:30pm PST
this only supports anyone east of nob hill and russian hill from the longitudinal perspectives. what about the folks in the sun set? what about the folks in the outdoor arena? this is the largest funding for a public transportation project and it is onlyç 4 1/3 or 1/5 of the city to go north and south. the executive used some interesting language, saying that we are going after a prize. which is what makes it so right. it is very clear that even if they were to come to their senses and say -- this is a bad project, they feel that they have to go after a prize of federal funds. clearly that tells you that if they use the word prize or
federal funds, you have to look at that and say, as soon as they use that it is a justification that they know the project is not a good idea. that they are completely wasting federal money. leslie, if this goes over budget by even 10%, the easy calculation is $160 million. none of us are driving on the new bay bridge. triple the cost? it has been one quarter of a century since the planned this. supervisor campos: next speaker, please. >> good morning, commissioners. i am here to represent the community tenants' association. i think that if all goes to show
that over 20 years of community support for this project, in 2005 we collected 2000 signatures. it connects neighborhoods like the valley, bayview, chinatown to the rest of san francisco and regional transit. this makes it a transit justice project. yes, boring tunnels is expensive, but it is worth saving neighborhoods. it is a responsible way to build up downtown and china square. the chinatown area planned protect the neighborhood as the central subway comes in. the fear of a high-rise developments in the displacement, -- and displacement, it will be watched carefully. the central subway provides consistent right of way travel and access to an efficient and
reliable travel. this funding cannot be spent on another project in san francisco. if it goes -- if it is lost, it goes back to a federal pot. supervisor campos: thank you, next speaker. >> wrong. this money can be spent elsewhere in san francisco. this project was never on the federal list for new starts until political influence waned its way into the government. and this project is not cost- effective. it will never be cost-effective. and it screws chinatown royally. merchants on stockton will be decimated. the residents of chinatown are
going to have to travel three football fields to make a connection. no one else does. the muni service on stockton street is going to be cut. and of the residents of san francisco are going to suffer because other projects that are worthwhile are not going to have any funding. this turkey is going to suck the oxygen out of all of the funding for san francisco transit. and they have not told the truth to the feds. guess who is controlling the congress in january? they are looking at cost effectiveness. this turkey is going down and you should get on board with plan b, save them money for san francisco. thank you. supervisor campos: next speaker,
please. i would ask members of the public to please respect the process. there is no applause in the room. give everyone an opportunity to be heard. >> supervisors, we have heard both sides of the central subway matter. the funding for the central subway would be better used to maintain surface transit. basically, this money is robbing peter to pay paul. the delegates that voted on this matter include organizations from all parts of the city. not just the northeast quadrant. but organizations like the castro neighborhood association, sunset, park side, education action committee, middle post neighborhood association, all parts of the city. there are 46 organizations now
in coalition. money is tight. this project is now supported or justified by the citizens. however much it might be supported by the city staff. neither the coalition for san francisco neighborhoods nor any of the speakers, save one, have a course in the race. rather, we are deeply concerned that this will be a colossal waste of funds. supervisor campos: next speaker. thank you. welcome. >> good morning, supervisors. my name is malcolm. i am here with cindy from the chinatown community development center. we are here to express strong support for this project. i want to address the points made, it embraces a lot of
concern for me. the primary characterization that concerns me is that this project will somehow not serve chinatown. this is a project that chinatown is asking for. [tone] supervisor campos: our fault, my apologies. i know that i talk quick, but i did not realize it was that quick. [laughter] do i need to repeat what i was going to say? i just want to address the point that has been repeated over and over, that this project will not benefit chinatown. despite the fact of we have advocated this over the years, there must be some credit given to the community when they know what they are talking about. this project will decrease ride * from chinatown to other parts of the city. this entire illustration of how people will have to get out of
the subway, walked back in, shift over to washington street, it misses a couple of things that really need to add some richness and depth to the narrative. first, they will not have to get out of the subway to get back down. they will be able to transfer directly in an underground tunnel, saving them time. number two, if anyone has written a bus on stockton street, you know that it is the most humiliating experience for anyone to get on, pushed around, get you and your family on, pushing your way past everyone else. central subway is going to expand transportation options for the chinatown residents. it will make the transportation experience a lot more palatable and, hopefully, even pleasant. it will hopefully address these underlying human conditions that
we see every day on stockton. the other thing that i would like to quickly add, many things have been said here about the fda being would be manned -- fca being bogyman, but far from killing chinatown, this project is what is going to allow us to attract hud money towards a transportation oriented affordable housing developments. thank you. supervisor campos: is there any member of the public that would like to speak that has not spoken? seeing no one, public comment is closed. colleagues, let me turn it over to my harvard classmate, supervisor chiu. supervisor chiu: i would like to thank everyone that came out to speak on this today. i do respect your perspective.
i know that she cared deeply about the future of our community. that said, it is no secret that i have been a strong supporter of this project since i was educated about it when i served on the citizens' advisory committee. we know that we are talking about the densest neighborhoods on the west coast. neighborhoods that, since the collapse of the freeway, have had no true public transit access. over the last few decades we have seen the impact of that on residents, families, merchants, and neighborhood corridors. we have had several decades of the discussion of what we need to do to move that forward. this project represents that work. frankly, this project represents hundreds of meetings and the input of thousands of residents who have come out to support this. part of what we have heard today
is how the funding situation is truly ideal. we are fortunate and blessed during this difficult economic recession that we received top ratings from federal authorities and that our transit agencies are on board and united in supporting what we have figured out as a way to leverage the state and federal funds that we are talking about. if we are ever going to be a transit first city, we need to have this first access in the northeast neighborhoods. i would like to thank my colleagues, the mayor, and federal officials for their strong support of this. i look forward to continuing that work. supervisor campos: supervisor chu? supervisor chu: thank you for
coming out here today. i know that you have been working on this for quite some time. i am pleased to see that there is a pathway for word. i know that there are a number of things that need to be bought and, but this has been a good update for this committee. i want to address some of the things i heard in public comments. central subway is also a project that i am very supportive of. it is important to chinatown and the regional area. we heard public comments about funding, like how this is robbing peter to pay paul. this is not the case. when we spoke to the departments, it was clear that the project and moneys that we were relying on, it does not take away from a previous project. it is the priority of the mta
and the city to make sure that the central subway is built and that we have this connectivity. we had heard that federal funding could be easily reallocated. that is also not true. if anyone has been following the central subway conversation and advocacy around federal government, it is not easy to say that we would have $900,000 for one purpose and next week's ugly spending is a more else, that simply does not happen. we would have to start over and that money would be reallocated to other places. i want to be clear that that is relieve the situation we are dealing with. there are always conversations about the sun set and how residents simply will not benefit from a connection to chinatown. i can tell you, for myself, the number of people taking that transit line in order to get to
chinatown, when people say that it will only benefit a certain quadra of the city, that is really just not true. it is beneficial not only to sunset residents, but also to others in the city, making sure that not only can people get to chinatown but that the folks are able to connect to sunset. even though we might disagree on this, for many of the people that come today, i would hope that we would be able to meet by to eye on the benefits of this project. thank you for all of the hard work from the departments. supervisor campos: supervisor dufty? supervisor dufty: i would like to join my colleague in expressing my support for the central subway project. i think that for the people in my district that want to be able to have that connection to the northeast portion of san
francisco, i would say that having worked for much of my career in the transportation industry, the federal transit administration's concern is going to be about maintenance of the rest of the system. something that this board has been very focused on. we will go to our next meeting with a management audit looking at the mta with a focus on maintaining the integrity of the system. i think that is what fta interest is going to be. we are not building a system to know where, where people do not have traditional riding transit. this is providing higher levels of quality and service to a community that has been very much in the forefront of using transit. i think it is an important keys down to the sustainability of the neighborhoods touched by this, providing even greater
access to growth in this -- growth industries of clean and green technology and it will be the focus of our economic program over the next 30 to 40 years. supervisor campos: thank you, commissioner. thank you to the staff for both of this grant -- transportation authority and the mta bus transfer -- presentations. it is great to see both agencies working together well. we hope that that continues. i would like to thank the members of the public that came out to speak on this. many smart and talented people on both sides of the equation. i do not usually disagree with the speakers that came out against the project. i understand where they are coming from. i will be the first one to say that i do have questions about some of these operational issues.
that said, i still support this project. to the gentleman who asked how can someone with public transit going through the system in their districts support something like this -- i want people in chinatown to have the options that my residents have. i think that there is a way to do a project right to to address these similar concerns. with that, colleagues, any other comments? we will close this item and file it to the call of the chair. can we call item no. 3, please? >> new items and informational items. supervisor campos: new items? any member of the public? seeing no one, public comment disclosed. >> item #4, public comment. supervisor campos: is there any member of the public that would like to speak on anything not in
the agenda? seeing no one, public comment is closed. next item? >> item #5, adjournment. supervisor campos: seeing no one, public comment is closed. but -- seeing no one, we are adjourned. commissioner mirkarimi: good morning and welcome to the transportation authority. i am the commission in the chair. i would like to thank sfgtv for
their excellent an ongoing work. >> commissioner david chu. commissioner dufty. commissioner maxwell absent. >> thank you. please read item two. >> approval of minutes. >> public comment? public comment is closed. without objection, so moved. please read items 3 and 4. item three, chairs report. item four, directors' report. >> vercommissioner mirkarimi:
very good. my comments are a breeze. there's never a dull moment in transportation. especially here in san francisco. the main focus of activity this month was the sustainable communities process, which is being led by the metropolitan transportation commission. this is essentially the local implementation of the legislative mandate. it is very important to demonstrate that local jurisdictions working in concert with regional agencies can turn that into real actions on the ground. there are many dimensions to this challenge, such as land use policy, transportation, and other infrastructure policy, and other key policies related to schools. these work together to determine where people are located. we are moving in the direction more closely integrating all
those areas. it is a daunting task that is only the first go round. we can expect they will be far from perfect, but it's a great opportunity to look at things from a multi varied perspectives. the congestion management agencies around the region have taken the lead in coordinating county level meetings to ensure people are aware of the process. the authority has been very involved in actively fulfilling the role of these last several months. we have already had several meetings with the department meetings of mtc. i attended one of those meetings last week to emphasize that san
francisco department heads, the importance of this process of having san francisco taking a leading role in the region in this regard. i expect the process to intensify. it will have to. as the region debates alternative visions of how we move forward. finally, serious discussions about the funding plan for the central subway. interesting coverage lately in the press, and, of course, with in committee hearings. i'm delighted we've worked out what i believe will be with a feasible funding plan to close the $137 million funding gap before us in the mta. the way to get there is through a collaborative process. what we have is exactly that. i want to thank staff for taking the initiative, and thank you to the mta for coming to the table.
it will be a huge benefit for san francisco and almost $1 billion in federal funds secured, which she to happen in short time. i know that the solution we have at hand will have creative funding swaps including proposition k money. i hope the director will help us navigate through the steps. this is not the first time we're doing something like this with state and federal dollars. i'm looking forward to making a great case to securing the funds. with that, i will conclude my remarks. mr. executive director. >> good morning, mr. chairman and commissioners. i have a report on your desk that will highlight a few things. i think that the price this week goes to the high-speed rail
picture, where we have now had official guidance from washington to the fact that california must spend its high- speed rail allocation of over $3.2 billion. related investments totaling $4.3 billion. this is in one of two central valley sections. it will either be fresno or fresno to bakersfield. we're having trouble getting excited about the prospect of high-speed rail that is that far away from us. that has been the guidance so far to we are forced committed to working to continue to coordinate the segment that we have the most significant interest in.
it has of course had its share of challenges, particularly the mid peninsula section. it requires continued partnership. at the local level, the authority of staff continue to coordinate the city families and put into the high-speed process. we have been successful so far in getting the high-speed rail authority to accept a set of three alternatives that are the result of a consensus building process among the agencies. you're sure that will be included in the report. given the news that i'm sure you have all seen in the last 24
hours -- the incoming republican leadership in the house looking at high speed rail and california's allocation of money as a target of deficit reduction. we have at least a reason to be worried. come the beginning of the year, we will most likely be involved in a vigorous advocacy process to help the state retained the funds that are already at the state level to keep moving this project forward. of course, there are implications for projects within san francisco that we need to be worried about. it seems as though this topic will require continued education and continued attention. we will continue to do that.
i'm sure there will be some demands for your time as the advocacy in d.c. demands that we all be there in demonstrating support for these local projects. we had a mixed bag in terms of transportation as it regards to the november election. we have proposition 22, which went long way toward securing transportation funds. i hesitate to say dedicated transportation funds, because they turned out to not be dedicated in years past when the legislature has seen fit to borrow those funds to balance the budget. now we have a proposition that says the transportation funds can only be used for transportation and cannot be used to balance the budget. that is good news. unfortunately, the election coupled that good news with proposition 26, which has now turned every user fee into potentially a tax, and raised
the bar to a supermajority for getting those things passed. without boring you with the details, i think there are some implications you need to be aware of, especially in regards to the funding deal that was approved as part of the initial budget approval, the one that happened 100 days after the deadline. that budget included a swap where the sales tax oreplaced an excise tax. that was on a simple majority vote for the simple reason that there was a net no change in the amount of revenue generated, but there is a reid already that prop. 26 might change that. it is retroactive for certain measures back to january 1, 2010.
it may be necessary for the legislature to reopen that deal and do it on a super majority basis. if it is not able to achieve that, that would mean a significant reduction in transportation money available around the state. and of course, we are talking about a reduction of budget that is already in the works. we're worried about it and we're watching this very closely. i will keep you posted about this as we begin to see it in the next month. there's an item on my report about the central subway, but you already heard from the chair. i'm delighted to say that we did come to a what we believe is a workable plan. i'm looking forward to continuing to work with the mta to make it happen. there are some of the sea items that will involve this board. there are some action items that wi